but taken from foolish tales of the Jews, about Joseph, David, Saul, etc.; but space will not permit, excepting for a few. Here, for example, is the account of "Sinai overhead" as we have it in Surah vii. 172: And when we raised the mountain over them, as though it had been a canopy, and they imagined that it was falling upon them, (we said) Receive that which we have sent unto you with reverence, and remember that which is therein, if may be that ye take heed; and we have two other passages (vv. 60 and 87) in Surah Bekr to the same effect; — the meaning being that when the Jews held back from accepting the Torah, the Lord lifted Mount Sinai over their heads to force their reception of it. The same tale is given by a Hebrew writer thus: "I raised the mount to be a covering over you, as it were a lid."1 It need hardly be said that there is nothing of the kind in the Torah. The tale, however, may have arisen (Exodus xxxii. 19) from the fact that when Moses returning from Mount Sinai, saw his people worshipping the calf, "his anger waxed hot and he cast the tables (of the Law) out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount." The words "beneath the mount," simply mean that he cast the tables down at the foot of Mount Sinai. And hence all this wild fiction of the mountain being lifted over their heads! We can only compare it to a like Hindu tale of a mountain similarly lifted over the people's heads, very much resembling what we have in the Qur'an.

Here are one or two other tales of Moses in the wilderness; and first, that of the Golden Calf which came out of the fire kindled by the people at Sinai. The Qur'an

1 From the Jewish story in the Abodah S‚r‚h.

tells us that Sameri also cast (what he had into the fire) and brought out unto them a bodily calf which lowed.1 The origin of this fiction we find in a Jewish writer.2 as follows: "The calf having cried aloud, came forth, and the children of Israel saw it. Rabbi Yahuda says that Samm‚el from the inside of it made the cry of the calf in order to lead the Israelites astray." No doubt the Prophet in this matter got his information from the Jews; strange that he should have been led to adopt this baseless tale. But he has used the wrong name Al S‚meri. The name of the people, of course, occurs often in the Bible, and the Jews regarded the Samaritans as their enemies; but as the city of Samaria did not arise till some four hundred years after Moses, it is difficult to imagine how it came to be entered in this story.3 We also note that in this matter the Qur'an is in opposition to the Torah, which tells us that Aaron was the person who for fear of the Israelites around him, had the molten calf set up. Another story, given us twice in the Qur'an,4 is that when the Israelites insisted on seeing the Lord, they were punished by death, but eventually restored to life again; and to add to the foolish tale we are told that it was the Torah which appealed for help and thus obtained their revival.

Sixth. A few other Jewish matters. — In the Qur'an are a number of Chaldaean and Syrian words which the Muslims have been unable rightly to explain,

1 Surah xx. 90. PirkÍ Rabbi Eleazer.
3 No doubt, the Prophet thought that the Jews said S‚merÓ (Samaritan) when they said Sammael. They regarded Samm‚el as the angel of death.
4 Surah ii. 28; iv. 152.